love song of the minstrel maiden

fingers whispering softly over the strings

she coaxed forth the lute’s lulling strains

come ye lords, come ye ladies

give an ear to my song

of the maid oft forgotten

in the glittering throng

dukes and duchesses stopped midstep

entranced by the girl’s haunting voice

come ye lords, come ye ladies

hear my tale unfold

of a hero as handsome

as sir tristram of old

he pushed his way through the crowds

piercing eyes bright yet brooding

the prince of the kingdom was fair of face

his lineaments bestow’d with every grace

the land beset by dragons fierce

his sword was swift their hides to pierce

doughty lords at his throne did kneel

he from fair ladies their hearts did steal

yet the one who loved him was a common maid

for her keep in the castle she sang and played

she saw him standing before her

fear evaporated into the calm

she sang of her love for the prince of the land

of the damsels daring who sought his hand

no pleading of hers turned his heart of stone

for the withering warrior was proud to the bone

dark secrets inside his mind he did keep

but for him fresh were the tears she did weep

and the kingdom mourned for the golden-crowned head

who despite his bravery was already dead

he clenched his fists in controlled anger

the veins throbbing at his temple

come ye lords, come ye ladies

for my tale of woe

to its unhappy ending

must now surely go

his eyes caught hers for a moment

holding in them a challenge

come ye lords, come ye ladies

of love the lass died

and as for the prince

he was slain by his pride

her voice dropped to a whisper

crooning the words like a lullaby

come ye lords, come ye ladies

and here ends my song

of the prince and the maiden

and the glittering throng

the last strains wafted through the silence

lords and ladies moved to muteness

the prince stalked haughtily away

whilst through her tears the maiden smiled